US Government returns Huawei gear and Huawei drop lawsuit

Huawei has dropped a lawsuit against the US government after its telecommunications equipment was seized “without justification.”

US authorities confiscated the equipment, which included servers, ethernet switches and other gear that was made in China, in September 2017 from a Huawei testing facility in California in order to investigate whether the shipment required an export licence to be returned to China.

In the two years since the equipment was sized, US authorities failed to make a decision on whether a licence was required, and continued to hold onto it until Huawei filed a lawsuit in June.

Since then, the US government has agreed to return the equipment, confirming that no export license was ever required for the shipment back to China. Huawei has also confirmed that the equipment has been returned and that, as such, the lawsuit has been dropped.

“After a prolonged and unexplained seizure, Huawei has decided to drop the case after the US government returned the equipment, which Huawei views as a tacit admission that the seizure itself was unlawful and arbitrary,” Huawei said in a statement Tuesday.

The company said that it had “landed a de facto victory” despite its voluntary dismissal of the lawsuit, but noted that it was still “disappointed by the fact that the US government has failed to provide any explanation for unlawfully withholding Huawei equipment for so long.”

Though this lawsuit has been dropped, it’s separate from the one Huawei filed against the US government in March, claiming that a ban on the use of its products by federal agencies and contractors is “unlawful”.

Speaking in March this year, deputy chairman of Huawei, Guo Ping, told reporters that Congress has acted as “judge, jury and executioner”, claiming that:

“This ban not only is unlawful but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers.

“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products,”

Guo added, noting that the company believes the ban to be unconstitutional.

“We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort.”